Dolly Parton has written many classic country songs, but she does have a few favorites. Some of these include “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” and “Down From Dover.” One song she says is a favorite of hers for personal reasons because it addresses bullying, an issue close to home for her since she was bullied as a kid.
Dolly Parton loves the song ‘Coat of Many Colors’ because it’s used to teach kids about bullying
“Coat of Many Colors” debuted in 1971 as the second single and title track of her 1971 album. The song is about a young girl who wears a coat made out of rags by her mother. The little girl loves the coat because it was made from love, but the kids at school ridicule her for it. However, she felt rich since there was so much love poured into that coat.
In an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Dolly Parton said “Coat of Many Colors” is one her favorite songs because it is often used in Tennessee schools to teach tolerance and the dangers of bullying.
“My very favorite song from a very personal level is ‘The Coat of Many Colors,’” Parton shared. “It’s kind of a signature song of mine, and it’s more than just about the little coat. It’s about my mom, it’s about family, it’s about acceptance, it’s about tolerance, and even speaks to bullying—you know, kind of how the kids made fun of me at school. And they even teach out of it in some of the grammar schools in Tennessee.”
“They use that little song about not making fun of people, but it’s okay to be different,” she continued. “We are who we are and we need to accept and love each other. That one I certainly love because of my mom and it’s a true story and I have treasured memories of that.”
Dolly Parton says she was bullied as a kid for being ‘flamboyant’ and ‘odd’
Parton always had a love for music from a young age. Her passion for music was also combined with a love of fashion and an exuberant spirit. However, that wasn’t commonplace in the Tennessee mountains, so it often made her the center of attention. In an interview with Vogue, Parton said she has always been “odd” and “flamboyant,” and she was often bullied for it as a child.
“Myself, I’ve always been odd,” she explained. “I was very flamboyant and out there, and I got criticized a lot for that. I got bullied a lot as a child too, so I know how it feels to not be accepted.”
However, she also believes it made her more empathetic toward outcasts, which might explain why she has aligned herself with many members of the LGBTQ community.
“[A lot of people] who work with me are gay, lesbian, transgender — and they’re some of my best friends as well,” she added. “I’ve always been open. People are who they are.”
How did ‘Coat of Many Colors’ perform on the charts?
“Coat of Many Colors” didn’t chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Still, it did make it on the U.S. Hot County Songs chart, where it peaked at No. 4. It might not have been a hit, but it’s often regarded as one of Dolly Parton’s greatest songs and was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2011.
While it’s unclear where the original coat is, a new version of the coat was made by Parton’s mother and is on display at the Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood.
Source: Cheat Sheet
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